Weekend Highlights: Your Guide to Family Fun

BY  |  Friday, Nov 27, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! We’ve gathered up some fun things to do with the family. Check ‘em out!


Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will kick off the holiday season with the Holiday Lights Spectacular which opens this Friday. The Zoo will be light up with over 50 winter and animal characters throughout the grounds. Additional activities this weekend include Selfies with Santa & Mailbox to the North Pole at the Party Gazebo, a Holiday Gift Bazaar, and face painting. Bring donations of non-perishable food items, new toys and gently used coats to further celebrate the season of giving. The Holiday Lights Spectacular will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Which Town? All the Towns!

BY  |  Friday, Nov 27, 2015 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Santa pic

Friday, November 27: The Nutley Chamber of Commerce will sponsor Santa’s Arrival in Nutley Oval Park (44 Park Avenue, Nutley) from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. See Santa as he arrives by helicopter in this festive event!

Friday, November 27: Imagine That!!! (4 Vreeland Road, Florham Park) will host Breakfast with Santa at 10:00 AM. Enjoy a breakfast snack then stay to play all day in the museum. Tickets are $14.00/adult; $16.99/child ($1 more per person at the door). Pre-purchase of tickets is recommended as seats are not guaranteed at the door.

Saturday, November 28: Power Stretch Studios (255 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair) will present Selfies with Santa from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, co-hosted by Studio Sami and Java Love. Get a free picture with Santa courtesy of Studio Sami in exchange for non-perishable food items to be donated to the Human Needs Food Pantry. Then head across the street to Java Love for a kid friendly treat. Call 973.692.8670 to reserve a time slot. Additional dates are 12/5, 12/19, and 12/20.

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Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day 2015

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

On Saturday, December 5, the annual Take Your Child To a Bookstore Day takes place, celebrating neighborhood bookstores and the love of reading.

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day was created by Jenny Milchman, a local mom and author. Milchman loves bookstores. In fact, every summer, she packs her family in the car and they drive across the country visiting independent bookstores and spreading the word about Take Your Child to A Bookstore Day. Why? Because, explains Milchman:

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Open Book/Open Mind: A Conversation About Young Adult Fiction at Montclair Library 12/6

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 4:23pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


David Levithan and E.R. Frank have been in the vanguard of young adult fiction for decades, because they are experimental and uncompromising artists.

David Levithan, the author of more than 20 young adult novels, is an innovator of form and writer known for his strong gay male characters in books that include Boy Meets Boy and The Tiny Cooper Story. His most recent novel is Another Day.

E.R. Frank is the author of five novels, most recently Dime. Dime is a tale of child-trafficking set in in Newark, NJ, which booklist calls “a masterfully told, unforgettable tale of what hope looks like in desperate circumstances.”

These two authors will discuss their processes and opinions about fiction for young people in a conversation with Y.A. author and Parents magazine book columnist Kristen Kemp. Due to the subject matter of Dime, this event is recommended for readers 14 and up.

Open Book/Open Mind, Sunday, December 6, Montclair Library. First 100 seats by reservation, remaining seats are first come, first served. Sponsored by Diana Lunin & Susan and Thomas Dunn. Books Sold by Watchung Booksellers

Montclair Student to Debut in ‘The Nutcracker’

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Nutcracker

‘Ashe Turner, 15, of Montclair, will join renowned professional guest artists when she performs in this year’s full-length production of New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s (NJDTE) beloved holiday classic “The Nutcracker” for the first time.

‘Ashe, daughter of Charmaine Warren and Tony Turner of Montclair, and a sophomore in Montclair High School’s dance program, will be dancing the roles of Lilac, Mouse and Chinese Boy. A member of NJDTE since 2014, ‘Ashe makes her Ensemble Company debut in “The Nutcracker” this season.

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Giveaway: Home Alone in Concert With NJSO Live at NJPAC

BY  |  Monday, Nov 23, 2015 3:00pm

Home Alone

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will perform legendary composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score along with the film Home Alone on December 5 at NJPAC and Baristanet has a Family 4-Pack to give away to one lucky reader!

Watch as Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation and must defend his home against two bungling thieves. It’s hard to believe this hilarious and heartwarming holiday romp is 25 years old!

Want to score a Family 4-pack? You must click on the box below to enter and (increase your odds with multiple entries). Giveaway ends Friday, November 27 at 3 p.m.

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Annual Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo Opens This Weekend

BY  |  Monday, Nov 23, 2015 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Holiday Lights Spectacular

The annual Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo ill open for the season on November 27.

About 50 animal and holiday-themed figures will light up the winter night in Turtle Back Zoo and the surrounding Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex. Over 100,000 lights will illuminate figures of bears, tigers and elephants, along with holiday lights designed to look like wooden soldiers, stars and winter scenes. Several animal exhibits will be open, including the Sea Lion Sound, Essex Farm, Tam-ring Gibbons Reserve, Tropical Currents Aquarium and the Reptile Building.

Myrtle the Turtle, the mascot of Turtle Back Zoo, and several of his winter friends will be on hand to greet visitors at the Zoo. “Selfies” with Santa Claus and a mailbox where children can send letters to Santa Clause at the North Pole will be available each night until December 23rd.

A schedule of activities is as follows:

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Weekend Highlights: Your Guide to Family Fun

BY  |  Friday, Nov 20, 2015 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Little Red Gliding HoodIt’s the weekend! We’ve got plenty of fun and family friendly activities happening in the area. Check ‘em out!

Watchung Booksellers (54 Fairfield Street, Montclair) will host Saturday Morning Author/Illustrator Storytime at 10:30 AM. This week’s book will be Little Red Gliding Hood, story by Tara Lazar and pictures by Troy Cummings. Tara Lazar, a New Jersey resident, will be in the store presenting this new story of one of our favorite fairy tale characters. Here, Little Red is a figure-skating enthusiast who must win new skates to replace her worn out pair. Who will her skating partner be? Find out Saturday!

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Dan Zanes Leads His Annual Holiday Sing-a-Long

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 19, 2015 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

zanes1No matter how anyone celebrates the winter holidays, we all find traditions to gather around with family and friends. Just 5 years ago, family-friendly musician Dan Zanes cooked up a new holiday tradition, and now his Holiday Sing-a-Long is one of those annual events that kids (and their parents) look forward to.

This year’s Holiday Sing-a-Long takes place on Sunday, Dec. 6, 11am, at City Winery, the cozy downtown music venue at 155 Varick Street in NYC. But despite the grown-up digs, the concert with Dan Zanes & Friends is a reliable all-ages pleasure: songs rooted in American and international music traditions, played to be sung along and danced to, and with a warm vibe for celebrating together on wintry holiday days.

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Check Out Curtain Up! Montclair SVPA Showcase Celebrates Show Business

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


SVPA Showcase, the fall offering from The School of Visual and Performing Arts at Montclair High School, always offers a chance to see students shine in solos, duets and classic ensemble numbers. This year’s Curtain Up! brings big, bold Broadway musical-inspired numbers to the Little Theater, with brilliant performances by an amazing cast of 26 talented students, many of which are seniors getting a chance to sing and dance at their final showcase.

There are way too many memorable moments to name (you have to go and see Curtain Up! this Friday, Saturday or Sunday — buy tickets here!) but prepare to be wowed by students singing runs that go on for days, collaborating on a unique version of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” and performing iconic large production dance numbers, honoring the original Broadway choreography. You will be amazed!

Curtain Up! features both a student tech crew and live pit band comprised of students, and is directed by Joseph Tudor and Adam Magnacca, with musical director Kristen Dziuba and technical direction by Kenneth Cleerdin.




Don’t miss it! SVPA Showcase 2016: Curtain Up! will be performed at the MHS Little Theater: Nov 20th and 21st at 7:30pm, with a matinee on Sunday the 22nd at 3pm. Tickets available at seatyourself.biz/montclairschoolarts now.

Photos: Annie Blackman

Featured Comment

I don't know the suspect, but this is a very good portrait. :-)

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